As a Speaker Thinketh
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”– Plutarch
Modern-day self-development experts like Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, and Jim Rohn teach us how to full, happy, and successful life.
These great orators were preceded by Earl Nightingale, Dale Carnegie, and Norman Vincent Peale.
Interestingly, self-development “gurus” predated even these great men. The one I have in mind is James Allen. He wrote a book called As a Man Thinketh, published in 1864. Allen provides a formula to live a better life in this little book. Don’t let the book title fool you. Men and women can equally apply Allen’s “better life” formula.
This got me thinking. What is the formula for living a better speaking life? Below are my thoughts
Speak on Something You Enjoy
So what do I mean by speaking about something you enjoy?
Have you ever found yourself in your day job daydreaming about sailing to Hawaii, writing that mystery novel bottled up inside you, or mastering the twelve-string guitar?
Something you enjoy pervades your thinking. Even when performing another activity, something you enjoy encroaches on your thoughts. It infiltrates your mind. This should be a sign.
Have you ever heard another person say, “I love my job so much, it doesn’t seem like work to me”? That person has found work they enjoy.
Let me explain how this applies to your speaking.
You will be the most animated, the most credible, and the most engaging with your audience when speaking about something you enjoy.
Your enthusiasm will be contagious with your audience. They will smile, applaud, and give you a standing ovation. This is all because you were speaking about something you enjoy.
Remember, everything around you, your relationships, and your speaking started with your thoughts. This article started in my mind with the book As a Man Thinketh. Your thoughts can do the same for your speaking.
Beginning when humans first inhabited our world, the goal of every human being has been to be happy. So why not derive happiness from your speaking.
Derive Happiness from Your Speaking
There is a book called Happiness Is a Choice: New Ways to Enhance Joy and Meaning in Your Life by Frank Minirth, MD and Paul Meier, MD. It tells how to choose happiness over despair. Happiness is a choice.
Do you choose to be happy when you speak, or do you let the winds of chance decide for you during your presentations?
You cannot affect what happens to you most of the time, but you can always choose how to react to what happens to you. So why not find the silver lining in an otherwise dismal situation. Do you turn lemons into lemonade?
Your speaking has the power to change people’s lives for the better, help them get control of their lives, and convince people to choose happiness.
Sometimes you may take something you enjoy doing for granted. Because you take it for granted, you may not realize that there are hundreds, even thousands of people in your area that would love to have someone teach them how to do the something you love.
In his audio program Lead the Field, Earl Nightingale talks about people having a river of interest. My brother John has a river of interest that was apparent early on. He loved cars – driving them, fixing them, building them. John has had a drag race car business for a number of decades. He often talks in magazine articles, blog posts, and video posts about his river of interest. His happiness is apparent when he talks about cars.
What is your river of interest? Find it, write about it, and speak about it.
The human mind is a beautiful thing. You can self-heal yourself by helping others through your speaking.
Speak to Help Others
As a presentation skills coach, I wish I had a penny for every time I have heard one of my customers say, “I don’t know what to talk about.” Be a speaker whose problem is not what to talk about, but how to choose from various speaking topics that will help others.
For me, helping others means teaching, showing, and loving the ability to stand up in front of two or more people and string more than two understandable words together about something I love.
If you are a young person, talk about your dreams. You likely have these dreams in common with several people in your audience.
If you are an older person, talk about the lessons life has taught you. You will be helping others tremendously.
If you are a senior citizen, talk about the many wonderful things life has given you and will provide you in the following productive years.
Helping others through your speaking will never go out of style. So don’t hide your life lessons “under your hat.”
William James once said, “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” That’s what your speaking does for your audience. You change the inner attitudes of your audience’s minds so they can change the outer aspects of their lives for the better.
No change has ever happened in the world unless someone recorded it in print or speech. As a speaker, you are a change agent for others.
Speak on something you enjoy, derive happiness from your speaking, and help others.
It all starts in your mind.
As a speaker thinketh, so they will become!
Call to Action
Speak on something you enjoy and watch the accolades roll in
Create your happiness through your speaking
Use your speaking for the betterment of others; you will improve yourself in the process
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”– Thomas A. Edison
Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (703) 509-4424.
Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!
“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”